Jason of Pellucidar

by Richard Senate
Series: Pellucidar fan fiction
Reviewed date: 2021 Jun 14
42 pages
cover art

Jason of Pellucidar is a long novelette, just under 17,000 words. It's a fan fiction story and is available online: Jason of Pellucidar, by Richard Senate.

Not bad, needs editing
It's a decent work of fan fiction. I enjoyed it, but it could use another pass at editing. The text has misspellings, comma splices, awkwardly constructed sentences, mistakes in tense, capitalization, extraneous spaces and line breaks, and at least once it switched from first person to third person. These are easily fixable, but ultimately forgivable in a work of fan fiction.

The storytelling itself was OK, but it is begging to be rewritten and expanded. The Mahars in particular need a stronger and more central role. Once the Empire and the Mahars form an alliance, the Mahars are effectively written out of the story. It is Sarians and Sagoths who defend the city of Mahara, and the army of the Empire, lead by Ghak the Hairy One and Ja of Anoroc, who finally defeat the rebels. The Mahars do literally nothing in the final three chapters.

So it could also use a bit of a rewrite to include more about the Mahars. I'd also like to see a proper duel to dispose of the villain Gunt. (Having him die offstage didn't satisfy me.) Also, maybe play up the friendship between Jason and Slug the Sagoth. Oh, and the big deal made about the pistols that Perry made for Jason? I don't think that worked--either expand on it, or drop it entirely.

Abner Perry
I liked the parts with Abner Perry. He's easy to write scenes for and is a lot of fun. Maybe an extra scene or two for him.

Chapter One: Revolt!
Jason Innes is the son of David Innes, Emperor of Pellucidar. David Innes mounts an expedition to Zoram to retrieve the wreckage of the airplane brought to Pellucidar by Jason Gridley in the O-220 dirigible. Jason stays in Sari. Gunt of the Armaz Tribe starts a revolution against the Empire. He sacks Thuria and Kali. He claims David is dead and vows to "take Sari and make Dian the Beautiful his mate!"

Chapter Two: The Cry of Battle
Jason Innes leads a force of a few hundred veteran warriors, including loyal Sagoths, to attack Gunt, while Ghak the Hairy One stays to defend Sari and gather a larger army. Abner Perry gives Jason two revolvers. A deranged man named Fang claims he can lead Jason to the Armazite army. His Sagoth officers do not trust Fang, but Jason considers the Sagoths stupid and overly suspicious, so he overrules them. Fang leads them all into a trap.

Chapter Three: Weena
Jason orders a retreat. He flees into the jungle and evades Gunt's soldiers, who are seeking to capture him alive. He loses one of the revolvers. Jason wanders, lost, for many sleeps. He rescues a young woman from a tiger. Her name is Weena and she is from the Thali tribe and she is loyal to the Empire. The traitor Fang is her husband.

Chapter Four: Among the Mahars
Weena explains that her father promised her to Fang, but she escaped to the forest before she could be joined to him. From the forest she watched Gunt and the Armaz army attack her tribe and kill many, including her father. Weena believes Fang betrayed the Thali tribe to Gunt.

Jason and Weena are captured by a group of Sagoths, who take them to the Mahars in the hidden city of Mahara.

Chapter Five: Mahara
The Sagoths take Jason before the queen Mahar, Song-To-To. Jason knows Mahar sign language and converses with her. The Mahar knows of David Innes and the Empire, and respects him. She accepts Jason as a friend. The Mahars are enemies of Gunt, so Jason proposes they work together: Mahar brains and aerial surveillance will be a great help in defeating the rebellion. Another Mahar arrives with news: Gunt and his rebels have taken David Innes captive.

Chapter Six: The Caves of Thali
Gunt's army is camped by the caves of Thali. While the Mahars and Sagoths launch a diversionary attack, Weena guides Jason and a small force of Sagoths to rescue David Innes. The rescue is successful. Back at Mahara, David and Jason, the Mahars and the Sagoths prepare for an assault by the full force of Gunt's rebellion. Weena and Jason declare their love for each other.

Chapter Seven: The Battle of Mahara
Gunt's army attacks. The men of Sari and the Sagoths of Mahara beat back the first wave of attack.

Chapter Eight: Fang's Treachery
Fang comes to parley under a flag of truce, but it's a ruse: when he gets close enough, he lobs a hand bomb, destroying the 32 pound cannon defending Mahara. The attackers breach the walls. The battle descends into the chaos of hand-to-hand combat.

Chapter Nine: The Black Finger
The full army of the Empire arrives and defeats the rebels. Gunt is killed by artillery. Fang tries to shoot Jason. Weena jumps in the way and takes the bullet, saving Jason's life at the cost of her own. Jason kills Fang. The end.

Taking a Bullet--Twice
I happen to have read the sequel, Up From Pellucidar. In that book, like this one, Jason is saved from certain death when the heroine takes a bullet for him. Fortunately for the girl in that story, she lives. In this story, Weena is not so lucky: she dies saving Jason.

This is not my favorite sort of story. I like heroes and princesses who act out their classic roles. The princess dying to save her man is not what I wanted. But I suppose we've had plenty of stories done in the classic way, so it's not so bad to have this one end with a twist.

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